Voices of Making Waves: Meet Salvador Sandoval
An English education major at San Francisco State University, Salvador Sandoval is pursuing his passion for creative writing and his goal of becoming a teacher in his hometown.
“I created a great bond with the staff members at Pittsburg High School,” shared Salvador, who graduated from Pittsburg High School in Pittsburg, California, in 2022.
“I’ve always looked up to my teachers. They do so much work. I want to go back to my community and hopefully be a teacher too.”
In thinking of his future career, Salvador shared that the wellbeing of the students would be his number one priority. “I want to be there for students whenever they need something.”
Drawing from his own high school experiences, he added: “I know how it feels to be bullied and it’s terrible. I want to make sure my work will give back to the community.”
A safe space with Making Waves
After learning about Making Waves Education Foundation through one of his high school teachers, Salvador was excited to apply for Making Waves’ college and career success program, which provides scholarships and financial planning support as well as dedicated college and career coaching.
“I was so happy that day I remember!” Salvador shared about the day he learned he was accepted into the program. “Making Waves is one of the reasons I am in college.”
Salvador is especially grateful for his partnership with his Making Waves college coach, Jason Pender. One of the unique aspects of the Making Waves program is students are partnered with a coach, who supports their unique college, career, and life goals.
Students might choose to focus on any number of topics with their coach – from academic support to career exploration to finding community and more.
“My coach just gets me, you know? My coach is there for me and has been super helpful,” Salvador shared. “Making Waves gives me a safe space to talk to someone. I never feel left out.”
“The Making Waves program is just so helpful to me,” shared Salvador, who has been able to use his Making Waves scholarship for college expenses that can add up, such as his meals and his laptop.
Making Waves students are also paired with a financial coordinator who provides support in managing the Making Waves scholarship as well as college finances overall.
“My coach and my financial coordinator help keep me on track. The Making Waves program is a program that I believe everyone should apply for,” Salvador said.
A commuter student in his second year at San Francisco State, Salvador is hoping to get more involved this coming academic year.
“I really love the campus. It’s so huge and there are a lot of things to do, so many clubs and activities,” he shared.
Even with waking up around 4 a.m. and traveling on Bay Area Rapid Transit, or BART, to make it to campus for his morning classes, Salvador said he is happy with his college decision.
“I don’t regret it at all. I love SF State. I love the air, the clouds, and the wind. The professors are great! They are always there to help.”
Full of optimism for the future, Salvador shared: “Going to college is a risk. But sometimes you just have to do it. It’s okay, you’ll get used to it.”
“I was able to get that help I needed for college and to find my career. Hopefully I can help out in the world the way I have been helped.”
This story was edited based off an interview between Alejandra Diaz, a former marketing intern at Making Waves Education Foundation and Wave-Maker who graduated from UC Davis, and Salvador Sandoval, a Wave-Maker at San Francisco State University.
This Voices of Making Waves storytelling series spotlights the voices and journeys of the students, alumni, teachers, coaches, and more members of our Making Waves Foundation and Making Waves Academy communities — and highlights our work in creating educational opportunities that change lives.
ABOUT MAKING WAVES Education FOUNDATION
At Making Waves, we are committed to educational equity. Making Waves Education Foundation is a Bay Area nonprofit that supports Making Waves Academy – a public charter school with more than 1,100 5th through 12th grade students – and leads college and career programming with more than 500 college students.
Knowing the opportunities that come with a college degree, we partner with historically underrepresented and underserved students to help make college affordable and graduation attainable. Centering the journeys of our students, our personalized approach includes college and career coaching, scholarships, and financial planning.
Our alumni network includes more than 600 college graduates, who earn their degrees and land jobs at more than twice the rate of their first-generation, low-income peers, with 84% graduating debt-free.
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